Tag Archives: Music

Cain’s Ballroom Is Calling My Name Again

You already know I have an…enthusiasm for music, especially of  the live variety. My favorite Tulsa venue is still the historic Cain’s Ballroom ( Alabama Shakes and Seether were the last two shows I saw there.).  Saturday we saw Flogging Molly and Radkey.  I purchased these tickets back in February, as soon as they went on sale, and I’m glad I did because the concert sold out.

I like Cain’s because there’s a sense of immediacy and intimacy in performances at Cain’s that you just don’t get at the larger venues.  My experience has been that there is also an enhanced sense of camaraderie with fellow concert-goers that I haven’t found elsewhere (well, maybe a couple of festivals).

My comrades in music showed up wearing a lot of Flogging Molly t-shirts (of course), Dropkick Murphy shirts, and there were kilts. Surprising, since the band isn’t Scottish, but I’m always happy to see a well-built man in a kilt!

Radkey

Radkey5 6-6-15

As soon as Radkey’s set began, I was hooked.  Lots of energy, high-intensity, and fun.  The geeky t-shirts and references to Netflix’s Daredevil (which I loved, by the way) made me feel a bit like Captain America in The Avengers, “I understood that reference!”  None of that would have mattered though if it weren’t for the amazing original music which paired well with Flogging Molly’s unique flavor.

My only complaint is that a lot of us had no idea what the name of the band was after their set ended.  I know I asked several people in line for drinks if they knew who the opener was.  They were great, and I definitely wanted to hear more from them.  Thank goodness for Flogging Molly’s own Dave King, who seemed just as excited as the rest of us. He not only gave the band the recognition they were due and the audience was craving, but he also commented that he’d love to play with them again.

Flogging Molly

Flogging Molly5 6-6-15Now, I get pretty excited about my music, I’ll admit.  Losing my voice at a concert isn’t an unexpected event for anyone who has…well, anyone who has ever been to a concert with me.  My husky, nearly non-exsistant voice never stops me from attempting to sing along, shout at fellow concert goers to be heard or talk about the show incessantly for days on end.  Of course, Flogging Molly was no exception.  I’d been listening to their albums for days (possibly weeks) because I was so excited about this show, and this went even beyond my expectations of a great show.  This was jumping around the floor, singing at the top of my lungs, clapping until my hands were sore the next day kind of a show.

They definitely earned a place on the I-will-always-see-them-when-they’re-in-town list.  That list is really short, just two bands…who are nothing alike. Zac Brown Band and Flogging Molly…have I mentioned I have eclectic taste in music?

Who will you always see live when they come to town?

‘Til next time,

Jessica

P.S. Today, June 9, 2015 Ben Harper is playing there and then, then on June 14th Ben Folds is playing…I’m just saying, I could go watch live music every day this summer and be a happy woman…of course that requires money for tickets.  Boo!

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The Louder the Better!

“Play it f@#%in’ loud!”
― Bob Dylan

I’m in a mood today…I want lots of punk rock played loud enough that if it were any other day, you’d be worried about the speakers.  ScotsFest begins in Tulsa tonight, and a friend flies in from out-of-state today, and tomorrow we’ll all be there for the music, food, shopping and of course…adult beverages. (This time, I know in advance…1 glass of wine = 1/2 a bottle…last year I did not see the sign.)  At least we can be responsible(ish).

This all puts me in a mood.  I want to dance.  I want to sing it out at the top of my lungs, even if I don’t know the lyrics.

However, this behavior is frowned upon in public places…especially offices, so…can you do it for me?  Pick your favorite song and crank it up, sing along!  I’ll be sitting here with my earbuds in place, trying not to sing out loud.

First up on my playlist…hmmm, I think…The Clash…or Flogging Molly…or…I’m gonna need a playlist today.  Any suggestions?  What’s your favorite song?

‘Til next time,

Jessica

P.S. Dropkick Murphy’s just got added to the playlist…


A Higher Revelation

“Music is … A higher revelation than all Wisdom & Philosophy”
― Ludwig van Beethoven

I have a love/hate with Beethoven. His music is transcendent.  However, as a pianist (very amateur pianist) no matter how much I practice, I feel like the man is trying to tie my fingers in knots and my hands ache every time I finish a piece.  But Lord how I love to hear his music…I can hear this belief in every piece.

‘Til next time,

Jessica


Talk Nerdy To Me (Jason Derulo Parody)

Does is really need explaining?


Spark Change in the World

Glühwendel_brennt_durch“I’m not saying I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world.”
― Tupac Shakur

‘Til next time,

Jessica


Captain Jack Harkness…I’m Not Surprised. Are You?

John Barrowman

John Barrowman (Photo credit: paulafunnell)

A news story on the radio this week covered people singing in the car.  Apparently, people really like to sing along with Journey.  Personally, I sing along with everything…whether I actually know the words or not.  I sing a lot.  It doesn’t matter if there’s music playing or not.  Sometimes I get weird looks in the grocery store, but who cares.  Then I saw this quote from John Barrowman.

 

“I’ve always thought people would find a lot more pleasure in their routines if they burst into song at significant moments.”
― John Barrowman

Thanks Captain Jack.  I agree!

 

‘Til next time,
Jessica

The Healing Power of Music

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”
― Bob Marley

 

Sheet music.

Sheet music. (Photo credit: jonisanowl)

 

Music is, without a doubt, a balm for my soul.  It sweeps me up and can impact my mood for the entire day.  There are songs or artists that I turn to when I need to get my head on straight, when I’m doubting myself, when I want to celebrate life, when I’m so angry I can barely see straight…you get the picture.  Certain songs can make me smile, no matter my mood when it comes on.  Amanda Palmer’s “Ukulele Anthem” is one of these, Zac Brown Band’s “Chicken Fried”, Fun’s “Some Nights”…I always sing along (and occasionally dance) when I listen to them.  Right now, “Ukulele Anthem” is buzzing around begging me to get it stuck in someone else’s head.  I’m sure I’ll oblige it sooner rather than later.  (My nephew is due a phone call…I’ll get hung up on when I sing it to him, but it will be worth it!)

 

Lately, I’ve been talking with people about music, asking for recommendations mostly.  There are a lot of new artists I’ve discovered, established artists I’m really delving into for the first time, exploring genres that never appealed to me before, and relying on old favorites to recall a certain mood or feeling…or just because.  I don’t know what I would do without Spotify giving me the freedom to explore a bit. (Although, oddly enough, I rarely use their discovery feature recommendations.  It isn’t that they aren’t good.  They’ve been pretty decent when I have clicked on a recommendation.  I don’t know.)

 

Discovering music through recommendations by people is one of my favorite ways to do it.  It keeps me listening when I might have switched to something else, because I know that there’s a reason so-and-so likes this song.  Sometimes, I find a new favorite.  Sometimes, not.  How do you find new artists to listen to?  Send me some of the songs you love to listen to.  Maybe they’ll find a place on my next playlist.

 

Current Playlist (a.k.a. musical obsessions)

 

  • Ukulele Anthem – Amanda Palmer
  • London Calling – The Clash
  • Drunken Lullabies – Flogging Molly
  • Should I Stay or Should I Go – The Clash
  • One Day Like This – Elbow
  • Makin’ Whoopee – Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman
  • I Want You, But I Don’t Need You – Amanda Palmer
  • Some Nights – Fun
  • Day For The Dead – Zac Brown Band
  • Lola – The Kinks
  • Speed of Darkness – Flogging Molly
  • Tessellate – Alt-J (Actually just this whole album)
  • You & Me – Caroline’s Spine
  • Bother – Stone Sour
  • Cocaine Blues – Johnny Cash
  • At Last – Etta James
  • I Will Wait – Mumford & Sons
  • Weather To Fly – Elbow
  • Demons – Imagine Dragons
  • Everybody Talks – Neon Trees
  • Shake It Out – Florence + The Machine
  • Strong – London Grammar
  • Piano Concertos – Mozart

 

Actually, I just switched to Chopin’s Mazurkas…

 

‘Til next time,

 

Jessica
 

 

 

 

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Concentrate, Concentrate…

Hugh Jackman and Elmo…wait, what was I supposed to be doing?  When I saw this one, I literally laughed out loud.  I’m so easily distracted, and I was supposed to be doing something else…not watching random Sesame Street videos on YouTube, for sure.  The “concentrate” video mostly put me back on task.  At work, we’re in cubicles, and some days even the quiet noise of typing and people walking by in the halls is enough to throw me out of my groove.

I have to just plug in my headphones and listen to music with no lyrics in order to focus.  Bach, Mozart, Handel, Chopin, Wagner and, recently, Sigur Ros all help me stay on task.  Words in English aren’t good on those days.  I tend to make up stories around the lyrics, and that is not at all productive while I’m at work.  Do you listen to music while you work?  What helps you focus?  Seriously, I need all the help I can get.

Let’s not even talk about the internet, which I use quite often for work, because that is one huge distraction waiting for the right moment to pounce.  Blog posts, industry articles, TED Talk videos, the Vlogbrothers, Mental Floss…I’m not even talking about social media here.  Wikipedia can be a giant rabbit hole too…I want to know all the things…

The state of my work place also impacts my ability to focus on the task at hand.  Currently the messiness of my work space is driving me batty.  However, that is one that I’m valiantly fighting until I get to a place in my never-ending list of things-that-must-get-done-today.  Then it will get organized and cleaned…and probably stay that way all of five minutes.

So, obviously, I’m needing some help here.  What do you use to stay focused?  Any advice?

‘Til next time,

Jessica

 

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Let Your Imagination Fly

Plato's Symposium (Anselm Feuerbach, 1873)

Plato’s Symposium (Anselm Feuerbach, 1873) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m big on using music when I’m…actually, pretty much all the time.  There’s a soundtrack to my life, and at any given moment smart odds are I’ve got a song in my head.  It is essential to my whole creative process…thing.  Whether it is writing, painting…refinishing furniture (that’s this weekend’s project), music just gets me in the right head-space, and keeps me going.

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination

and life to everything.”― Plato

Exercising, don’t forget it then.  It is definitely a requirement then. (Oh, I started training for a 5K…day one there was running, at least.  It was a decent start.  Okay, fine it was a start, anyway.)  I need it when I’m cleaning too.  Dancing and cleaning can go well together…just watch out for the breakables and that duster…there have been…incidents.  Cooking and music are a perfect combination. (Yes, I may have been caught dancing in the kitchen while cooking breakfast…it was a good song!)  Don’t try to tell me you’ve never used a spoon as a microphone…actually, please tell me I’m not the only one that does that…please.

I’m always on the lookout for artists I’ve never heard before.  My current playlist is filled with musicians I’d never really listened to before last year.  A lot of them aren’t even new, just new to me.  Help me fill my playlist with more new-to-me music!  Who do you like right now?  Do you use music to get moving, creating…cleaning?  (Seriously, if there’s a secret to making cleaning enjoyable, I’d love to hear it.)

‘Til next time,

Jessica

 

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That Which Cannot Remain Silent

English: Woodburytype of Victor Hugo

English: Woodburytype of Victor Hugo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent”
― Victor Hugo

Maybe I have Victor Hugo on the brain because Mycroft had to take his parents to see Les Misérables.  Who knows.  What I do know is that this quote is oh, so true for me.  Whether it is joy or pain or anything in between, sometimes music is the only way to release the emotion we cannot find words for.

‘Til next time,

Jessica

 

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